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FAQ and advice on radio operations


Q: What is the best way to wire up a light sport aircraft or an ultralight aircraft ??

Q: I am having trouble hooking up the ICOM A20 - A21 handhelds to the XCOM Intercom what can I do ??

Q: I am using the Microair VHF 760 radio and the XCOM Intercom - when I push the PTT button I get a loud squealing noise ??

Q: How do I hook up the Icom A23-A5 to the XCOM Intercom ??

Q: How do I wire up a Microair to the XCOM Intercom ??

Q: How do I wire up a ICOM ICA200 to the XCOM Intercom ??

Q: How do I get the remote toggle feature to operate the flip-flop and remote toggle to work ??

Q: Do you have an emergency or priority button to bring up 121.5 ??

Q: How do I toggle memory or flip flop the channels remotely ??

Q: What is Sidetone ??

Q: What is the difference between Intercom Squelch and Normal Squelch ??

Q: What type of dimmer do you recommend ??

Q: Do you need a backlight switch if you use a dimmer ??

Q: Why is a external intercom switch needed if the intercom can be turned off with the "setup" mode ??

Q: You mention the radio chassis needs to be earthed... how do I do that ??

Q: I am getting noise or a hiss coming trough the headsets ??

Q: Does the radio come with a DB 15 Connector ??

Q: How do I wire up the XCOM to helicopter headsets ??

Q: What is the best aerial cable length ??

Q: How do I hook up the electrolytic capacitor ??

Q: How do i wire up the XCOM for use in a glider using a boom microphone ??

Q: Can I hook up multiple inputs into the music circuit ??

Q: How do i correctly hook up stereo music into the XCOM ??

Q: What effects does a bad aerial have on my transmission ??

Q: How do i do the Master Reset for the XCOM VHF Transciever ??


Q: What is the best way to wire up a light sport aircraft or an ultralight aircraft

Download this diagram in PDF format for easy colour printing Click here to download


Q: I am having trouble hooking up the ICOM A20 - A21 handhelds to the XCOM Intercom what can I do......

A: There is an issue with the earlier ICOM handhelds which allow them to transmit a carrier but no voice, its a simple fix with a small modification to the Microphone lead. Please follow the directions in the attached drawing.


Q: I am using the Microair VHF 760 radio and the XCOM Intercom - when I push the PTT button I get a loud steeling noise.

A: This is an easy fix and its just the Microair's sidetone working against the XCOM Intercom, using a small flat screwdriver go through the side of the Microair into the pot marked sidetone and turn the Microair's sidetone off by rotating the pot counter clockwise. That's it problem solved.


Q: How do I hook up the Icom A23-A5 to the XCOM Intercom ??

A: Follow the diagram below.


Q: How do I wire up a Microair to the XCOM Intercom ??

A: Follow the diagram below

Download this diagram in PDF format for easy colour printing CLICK HERE.


Q: How do I wire up a ICOM ICA200 to the XCOM Intercom ??

A: Follow the diagram below

Download this diagram in PDF format for easy colour printing CLICK HERE.


Q: How do I get the remote toggle feature to operate the flip-flop or the remote memory toggle ??

A: This feature utilizes the Co-Pilot PTT switch. You need to wire an additional Co-Pilot PTT switch to the pilots stick and enable the feature in the setup screen. If the radio is in normal mode the switch will change the active to the standby channel and back again. If the radio is in the memory view mode it will cycle up through the stored memory channels.

Note: Using the remote toggle feature the Co-Pilot PTT switch does not transmit and has the same functions as the pilots toggle switch.


Q: Do you have an emergency or priority button to bring up 121.500 ??

A: Push the volume knob and the channel knob together. This will immediately bring up memory channel zero  121.500


Q: How do I toggle memory or flip flop the channels remotely ??

A: In the programming section you can activate the remote flip flop and memory toggle using the copilot PTT switch. If you want this function wire a secondary PTT switch into the pilots stick and activate the software in the setup screen. When you push the copilot PTT with the software active it will flip the active and standby channels in normal mode or scroll up through the memory channels in memory mode


Q: What is Sidetone

A: Sidetone is the sound of the speakers own voice, normally when you talk into the microphone you can hear your own voice coming back through the headsets, this is sidetone. In a glider install you can turn the sidetone off to conserve power


Q: What is the difference between Intercom Squelch and Normal Squelch ??

A: Normal squelch is when the radio actually breaks and you hear static, if you turn the squelch down or off you will hear static sounds in the background, if you turn up the squelch you can get the background noise to switch off, if you turn up the squelch all the way you will block out the weaker stations and only hear stations and aircraft close by. The Intercom squelch is only used to cut out the background noise in the cockpit when the pilot and copilot are plugged in, it cuts down the cabin noise from being heard back through the headsets.


Q: What type of dimmer do you recommend ??

A: A 1k linear pot is fine, it will dimm from zero to full brightness. Radio Spares or Farnel is his best bet ( farnel Part no 350-140 ).

Please note: XCOM radio feature change.  Radios after serial number 1150 feature a new LCD backlight controller which has a switch mode power supply. These units are not able to be dimmed and work down to around 4 V. Our apologies if this is an inconvenience to you but the decision was made to use a better quality backlight which was brighter than the original units and also use less power during operation, the trade-off was that the unit could no longer be dimmed.


Q: Do you need a backlight switch if you use a dimmer ??

A: No you don't need the toggle switch if you use a dimmer switch. (also see above)


Q: Why is a external intercom switch needed if the intercom can be turned off with the "setup" mode ??

A: You must use the actual toggle switch to turn the intercom on and off not the software. The software has been included for single seat installations like a glider where they can turn off the internals to the radio therefore saving a small amount of power and making the battery life longer. In a normal powered aircraft you do not turn off the intercom with software


Q: You mention the radio chassis needs to be earthed... how do I do that ??

A: You must earth the radio chassis to the aircraft ground, please see the attached photograph on where to locate the earth wire.


Q: I am getting noise or a hiss coming trough the headsets ??

A: Probably the hardest of all questions to answer, generally it's interference of some kind, usually electrical but sometimes it can come from the antennae.

Each aircraft MUST be fitted with an Electrolytic Capacitor rated at 22,000 uF at 25V if it is powered by the Rotax or Jabiru engines, this will assist in eliminating most of the problems. The reason it must be fitted for Rotax and jabiru engine is is because they have a very ordinary regulator rectifier and it is actually demanded in the Rotax and jabiru installation manual.


Q: How do I hook up the electrolytic capacitor ??

A: Hopefully this simple diagram will assist you in hooking up the electrolytic capacitor. Please make sure the capacitor is fitted on the power supply side of the fuse as shown in the attached diagram. Try and keep all of the wires as short as possible and position the capacitor close to the radio for best performance. Please note that the capacitor is polarity sensitive, that is there is a positive and negative side to the capacitor.


Q: Does the radio come with a DB 15 Connector ??

A: Sure does.. The XCOM Intercom and Transceiver is supplied with a DB15 connector for soldering to your harness


Q: How do I wire up the XCOM to helicopter headsets ??

A: Please follow the diagram below for assistance


Q: What is the best aerial cable length ??

Well its all a bit of witchcraft and nonsense to me but our engineer has given me the following advice.... Try to get customers to cut their aerial cables to these optimum lengths.

Suggested aerial cable length in Meters

Suggested aerial cable length in Feet


Q: How do i wire up the XCOM for use in a glider using a boom microphone ??

Wiring up the XCOM radio for use in a glider is fairly simple, please click on the image below to download a PDF the drawing which can be printed out. Additionally the drawing has important information on how to set up the radio to best suit a glider installation, also refer to the glider section of our website.


Q: Can I hook up multiple inputs into the music circuit ??

A: Yes it is possible to hook up several inputs into the music circuit, but each device must be protected with a 4700 ohm resistor.


Q: How do i correctly hook up stereo music into the XCOM ?

A: The correct way is to use a Stereo to Mono converter available from most electronics shops or from our website


Q: What effects does a bad aerial have on my transmission ??

A: A poorly tuned aerial will reduce your transmission power as per the table below

VSWR Effects on 6 Watts

VSWR

Reflected Power

Output Power

1.1 : 1

0.014

5.986

1.2 : 1

0.049

5.951

1.3 : 1

0.102

5.898

1.4 : 1

0.167

5.833

1.5 : 1

0.240

5.760

2.0 : 1

0.667

5.333

3.0 : 1

1.500

4.500

4.0 : 1

2.160

3.840

5.0 : 1

2.667

3.333

6.0 : 1

3.061

2.939

Further Information http://www.antennex.com/preview/vswr.htm


Q: How do i do the Master Reset for the XCOM VHF Transciever

A: Follow these simple instructions

The XCOM VHF transceiver is quite an advanced product with many owner adjustable features.

It is our experience based on some of the returns for repair that customers sometimes get lost in all of the adjustable settings and sometimes make the radio inoperable because of their changes.

We have implemented a Master Reset to factory defaults to return the radio to the same settings that left our production line with.

Step 1. Remove the headset jacks from both the pilot and co-pilot positions, this is vitally important otherwise when the radio resets it will have the wrong audio levels present and the intercom will not work !.

Step 2. Press and hold the mode button in for five seconds or until the display shows the word reset, after this the radio will automatically turn itself off.

Using the on button turn the radio back on and then plug in your headsets again.  This will have returned the radio back to the factory default settings.


Please ask your Questions to our Tech Man


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